Knit Wit Living

Reflections, Beading, Knitting, Life

Archive for the tag “Beading”

Another Post about Beading

No apologies. It is what it is.  Or as I like to say, que sera, sera. So yes, another post about beading.

I am a late comer to Andrew Zimmern (on whom I had a celebrity crush after watching the episode I am going to tell you about, but the crush details are for another day [and has passed]). I first started watching him on his Driven by Food series, where he has taxi drivers take him to their favorite eating (and sporting/exercise) spots. It truly is delightful and a great concept for traveling and learning more about the local fare.

Then I segued into Bizarre Foods which is not really completely about eating insects and goat’s eyes as earlier commercials had led me to believe. And here’s a disclaimer, I am not against eating insects or goat’s eyes.  I just don’t know how many episodes I would want to watch about it.  Luckily it’s not just about “bizarre” foods, it’s about the cultures and lifestyles.  Well, I DVR’ed a bunch of the shows and was terribly moved by his visit to a Hunter and Gatherer Tribe in Botswana, in the Kalahari.

The tribe easily accepted the TV show crew after ceremoniously cleansing them and were willing to share their lives and culture with these strangers.  The tribe is extremely resourceful using what nature has provided.  Their lives are incredibly full without modern “conveniences,” and are so joyful and creative. The TV crew was allowed to watch a trance ritual that was incredibly powerful, and I was terribly moved just by watching it on TV.

But I kept pausing the show to take pictures.

Another Post about Beading

Men and women alike all wore decorative beaded headbands.  I was fascinated!  Andrew briefly mentioned that the beads are made from ostrich bones, I think.  They were incredible.

Another post about beading

Another post about beading

Another post about beading

These designs look so modern, yet these artisans have not been exposed to other cultures (except for visitors).

Another post about beading

I think I have multiple images of this particular headband. I am captivated by the design!

Another post about beading

Just gorgeous!

Another post about beading

Another post about beading

I couldn’t get a full view of the necklaces everyone was wearing, but they were bright colors! So pretty against their skin too.

Another post about beading

Here is a close up.

Another post about beading

Another post about beading

And finally, here is a photo with the show host. But honestly, the attention really goes to the headband detail.  Just beautiful.

Because the tribe has had visitors, one of the members was wearing a T-shirt with English writing on it.  It made me wonder if future designs will incorporate some of the letters.  That would be pretty cool, but at the same time disappointing. It would be disappointing because it would symbolize that they are slowly becoming integrated with modern society and losing their pristine world. That will be sad…though I did appreciate being able to enjoy their culture.

Before I end this post, I wanted to relay that I recently watched some of Season 7 of The Mary Tyler Moore Show. I had to pause the show many times to take a further look at the necklaces she was wearing.  It is truly becoming an obsession.

Ugly Beading Projects Abound During the Holidays

T’is the season….for ugly beading projects!  Have you noticed how many ugly crafting projects abound during the holidays?  It’s actually not just the winter holidays, but any holiday from which a retailer might make a buck or two.

Speaking of retailers, I really have to thank Fire Mountain Gems for the majority, if not all, of these creations.  I do buy supplies from them, but not for holiday designs.

Ugly Beading Projects

I was trying to decide if I’m just not in the holiday spirit or a scrooge, but the bottom line is that you don’t have to wear or make ugly jewelry to celebrate the season.

Ugly Beading Projects

There are so many suggestions for ugly beading projects out there!
Sometimes I wonder if the people who post them are really serious?
It must be reverse psychology or a challenge to make something better.
Or maybe it’s just the jewelry industry’s version of ugly holiday sweaters.

Ugly Beading Projects

The choices out there are boundless. Retailers don’t care which holiday you celebrate as long as you buy their products.

Ugly Beading Projects

I refer to these earrings as the corn on the cob holiday celebration.  I’m not certain which holiday this is supposed to represent, but it reminds of that picture where you’re supposed to see the old lady and the young woman.  I usually see the young woman first and have to remind myself where the old lady is.  I don’t see any holiday in these earrings, but happy corn on the cob day!

Maybe the retailers are going for those afraid to say NO, thank you, when presented with a gift with angels.

Ugly Beading Projects

Ugly Beading Projects

Liking angels and having good taste do not have to be mutually exclusive.

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So no matter what or how you choose to celebrate, I hope you do it wearing jewelry that pleases you, even it’s a secret smile to yourself waiting for someone to compliment you on pieces that you’re inwardly laughing about….Happy holidays!


Beading Novice

I guess I can no longer consider myself a beading novice as I’ve been beading for over a year.  Thanks to a class at Vogue Knitting Live, I learned the basic technique of placing a bead on a stitch.

Ho hum.

There had to be more to do with beads! I have since been teaching myself how to bead using YouTube and books and a lot of trial and error.

I’ve discovered that, really, anything goes when beading even though it has defined stitches. It’s nice to have a solid background of already recognized stitches, but there are so many variations that you can do.

For my very first project – a necklace to wear to the opera at La Scala in Milan (and I have to interrupt myself to mention – how lucky am I? –  I don’t take this for granted, nor is it said with any sort of snobbery) – I went online to see how to do what I wanted to do – have beads dangling from beaded tubes. I could not believe that I invented this! However, it’s true. I could not find any advice online, and I have not seen anything like it anywhere. (Go Me!)

Beading Report

A night at La Scala

There are many beading stitches. The “basic” ones (or at least the ones that I learned first) are peyote, spiral and herringbone.   I find it easier to learn and manipulate the stitches as tubular even though ALL the instructions direct one to learn the flat technique first.

The circular diagonal direction of the beads in the “Opera” necklace make this design recognizable to beaders as peyote.

Currently, I find myself drawn to the tubular herringbone stitch.

Here’s one of the first herringbone designs I made. The primary orange beads are vintage Venetian.  These Vintage Venetian glass Seed Beads were manufactured between the late 1800’s and 1920’s and are an exquisite example of fine Venetian craftsmanship. Vintage materials provide a link to the past and allow for further appreciation of materials that could have otherwise been lost.

No longer a novice at beading

Here’s a necklace I did using different sized beads and with a wonderful druzy pendant.

No longer a novice at beading

Here’s another herringbone piece with a handmade lampwork bead, purchased on Etsy, as the focal.

No longer a novice at beading

This one has peyote as the main part of the necklace and then little herringbone tubes closer to the stones.

No longer a novice at beading

Weaving loops of beads around a spine creates the spiral stitch.  I made this one with a holiday theme in mind.  The silver and copper bugle beads accented with red beads really sparkle and shine!

No longer a novice at beading

More to come!

4 Month Reading Report

Egads! A 4 month reading report? My heavy workload really took away my capacity to read, and then when it was over I felt like I had PTSD to struggle back to normalcy.

Now, it’s mid-August and I am able to focus again. I did a major Kindle-library trip earlier this week and have already finished one book! Ah, but I’m getting ahead of myself. Here’s what I did manage to read these past 4 months.

Books Read April through July 2016

The Japanese Lover
Isabel AllendeGood
The Stranger
Harlan CobenGood
The Rent Collector
Camron WrightLOVED
Marilynne RobinsonDid not get far
The Boys in the BoatDaniel James BrownCould not get into it
Bead Royale: Elegance in Bead WeavingCristie PrinceGood designs
Beading with Shaped Beads (video)Melinda BartaHelpful
How to Create Professional Finishes for Jewelry (video)Chloe ChateneverBasic
Totally Twisted: Innovative Wirework & Art Glass JewelryKerry BogertGood ideas
The Life We BuryAllen EskensBelievable, held my interest
The SelloutPaul BeattyUGH

My all-time favorite was The Rent Collector.

4 Month Reading Report

The description does NOT do it any justice at all.

Sang Ly struggles to survive by picking through garbage in Cambodia’s largest municipal dump. Under threat of eviction by an embittered old drunk who is charged with collecting rents from the poor of Stung Meanchey, Sang Ly embarks on a desperate journey to save her ailing son from a life of ignorance and poverty.

The story starts out as a simple premise of a poor family reliant upon the task of picking and selling garbage but then expands its horizons. It examines relationships, circumstances, healthcare, literature, intuition, friendship, marriage, and more. It is totally captivating and enchanting.

I also enjoyed two bestseller mysteries: The Stranger by Harlan Coben and The Life We Bury by Allen Eskens. I often sneer at the bestseller lists – because who says that the people buying the books share my taste in books? But I really wanted to see what Harlan Coben’s writing was like after I read a book review where he was quoted on how he puts together his stories.  All the pieces were presented in a timely manner before the mystery was solved, the relationships and characters’ behavior were believable. I would definitely read another of his books after reading The Stranger.

Allen Esken’s book, The Life We Bury, was also believable and drew me in. It was one of those books that I had to put down at certain times because I just knew that the main character was going to do something stupid. Believable, especially given his age, but still stupid.

I could not omit talking about The Japanese Lover by Isabel Allende.  My journey started as a library book, but I ended up buying it when it was unavailable for renewal.  It’s only rated as Good because it did not draw me back anxious to know what happens to the characters. It was good enough to read to the end, though (somewhat Spoiler Alert) the end was extremely disappointing to me.  I would still recommend it because I flew through some of the chapters, while others…not so much.

Books Bought April through July 2016

The Japanese Lover
Isabel Allende
Blood Defense
Marcia Clark
The Stranger
Harlan Coben
The Rent Collector
Camron Wright
Marilynne Robinson
The Boys in the BoatDaniel James Brown
Bead Royale: Elegance in Bead WeavingCristie Prince
Beading with Shaped Beads (video)Melinda Barta
How to Create Professional Finishes for Jewelry (video)Chloe Chatenever
Totally Twisted: Innovative Wirework & Art Glass JewelryKerry Bogert
Beadweaving Beyond the BasicsKassie Shaw
Bead MetamorphosisLisa Kan
The Life We BuryAllen Eskens
The SelloutPaul Beatty

So this “month” or time period, I bought more books than I read.  I was taken in by two sales at the Interweave Store and took full advantage of the low prices!  I just noticed that Cristie Prince delivers designs like royalty would wear in Bead Royale, which is only fitting!  Although you’d think she’d change her name to Princess to really make it simpatico.

I’ve enjoyed most of the beading books and videos I’ve perused thus far.  What I’m really getting from all this reference material is that (1) anything goes, (2) I’m more knowledgeable than I give myself credit, and (3) anyone can be an expert.  Also, I like to see what people have to say or what they’ve done and then just mull over their ideas and subconsciously incorporate them into my work.  As Norah Gaughan said at one of the Vogue Knitting Live lectures,  there is nothing truly original anymore.

4 Month Reading Report

There may be new ideas or ways of doing things, but they originate from prior knowledge or experiences.

There! Now I’ve done it! I’ve transformed my Reading Report to include the other ways I’ve spent my time (except for golfing) – knitting and beading. Funny how well that worked out!

More Reading

I had this nagging feeling that I had done more reading in the past two months and that I was forgetting some books when I wrote my February/March recap.  It only took an afternoon of diverted thinking to remember where I put the receipts so that I would remember to include them in the post!

more reading

  • The Debt to Pleasure by John Lanchester was published in 2001 but seems like it is much older. I really thought I would like this book of a man’s autobiography through his experiences with food – it sounded somewhat similar to Muriel Barbery’s Gourmet Rhapsody (which I did not finish – it was not as good as The Elegance of the Hedgehog) and I had high hopes.  Alas, I could not make it very far.  I never got to the part about “murder and art” that was supposed to make it even more intriguing than food.
  • Beaded Chains & Ropes by Karin Van Voorhees looks rather simplistic from its cover, but it has a lot of interesting patterns and ideas.
  • Bead Play Every Day by Beth Stone, on the other hand, has a very compelling cover, but I like the ideas in Beaded Chains & Ropes better!  (You really can’t tell a book by its cover!)

This weekend…VKL NYC!

Vogue Knitting Live NYC 2016 is this weekend!

I can’t believe it’s been a whole year since VKL NYC 2015! The Knitting with Beads course with Laura Nelkin has changed my life. I have been spending the year teaching myself beading, and transferring much of my spending to beading supplies.

And guess what?

I am not going to VKL NYC this year! Instead I am saving my pennies to go to a beading fair next weekend.

My goal remains the same – to combine knitting and beading in unusual ways.  I’ve been spending this year learning basic beading techniques to understand how it works…so that I can rework it.

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Did I mention that beading is fun? And more immediate gratification than knitting!  But there are so many choices, and really, a lot of thinking and processing.  And stringing is not as easy as it looks. Sure, putting beads on a string is easy, but the design, and making sure the beads fall correctly takes longer than I expected.  It’s all very enjoyable.


And pretty!

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